Wednesday 21 February 2018

The Punt: Obama and Beyonce? Only having le laugh

President Barack Obama greets singer Beyonce after she performs the National Anthem during the public ceremonial inauguration following his re-election.
President Barack Obama greets singer Beyonce after she performs the National Anthem during the public ceremonial inauguration following his re-election.

President Obama and Beyonce? Of course not. It's Jennifer Aniston. In a hilarious spoof leader under the heading "La Maison Blance," the 'Economist' magazine said Washington was agog at news that Barack Obama had been having an affair with Ms Aniston.

Beyonce did come into it, though. She was the second wife of Mr Obama's predecessor, George W Bush.

The magazine was trying to highlight the differences between the way the French handle such matters from the Americans – or most of the rest of us.

For the above names, read President Hollande, Julie Gayet, Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni, pictured, in real French life.

Now Pascal Rostain, the photographer who got the snaps of Hollande going to visit Gayet, says Obama and Beyonce are an item. Only, he didn't really mean it.

It's a kind of spoof as well.

Or maybe he just doesn't get that strange British sense of humour. Especially not in the august page of the 'Economist'.


Kemmy School lecturer invited to join UN body

The Punt sees that Irish woman Sheila Killian has been chosen to sit on a UN Advisory Committee which will provide guiding framework for corporate responsibility and sustainability in business education across the world.

Killian, a lecturer in Corporate Social Responsibility and Finance at the Kemmy Business School (KBS), University of Limerick, has been invited to join the worldwide PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education) advisory committee, set up by the United Nations.

In the current academic environment, corporate responsibility and sustainability have not yet become embedded in the mainstream of business-related education.

It is the focus of the UN's PRME initiative to engage more than 500 University business schools to implement six principles drawing on the values of the UN Global Compact.

The KBS is the only Irish university to have been invited to join the PRME 'Champions group', a smaller leadership network among schools working to unlock the next level of responsible management and leadership education across the UN.

Dr Killian, through her appointment, has now become one of only 15 academics worldwide, who have been invited to join the PRME Advisory Committee.

Dr Killian, who has taught in UL since 1994 is a former tax advisor with Ernst & Young or EY as we must learn to call it, KPMG and Arthur Andersen. She also previously worked in the aviation finance industry as a leasing analyst, and as a programmer in both the educational software and industrial sectors. More recently, Killian taught at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, and at the Helsinki School of Economics in Mikkeli, Finland.


ROG leading pack in celebrity lunch comeback

The growl of super cars on the streets of Dublin, like the cry of the corncrake on the Shannon callows had become a thing of the past, until recently that is. A perceptible rise in the number of Maserattis and Bentleys prowling the streets is one sign Celtic Tiger era habits of conspicuous consumption are creeping back, at least in some circles.

Personal appearances by sports legends at business events were another moth-balled habit of the boom. Post Crash the Olympians and rugby stars were, somewhat ironically, elbowed aside by celebrity economists as keynote speakers at such events. Yesterday though, the great and good at IBEC's CEO conference were treated to a double rub of the relic of celebrity. Rugby legend Ronan O'Gara was quizzed by RTE's Des Cahill as the somewhat incongruous accompaniment to the plutocrats' lunch.

It seems with the crisis of Mammon apparently now being viewed in the rear view mirror, the cry of the dismal scientists is being drowned out once again by more glamorous engines.

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